Scientists have shown what the consequences of an asteroid collision with the Earth.
American scientists have simulated on a supercomputer of the consequences of asteroid into the ocean. Geophysics showed that the main threat of this strike and its impact on the Earth’s climate, and not the tsunami that it will cause.
This is stated in the report of the American geophysical Union (American Geophysical Union, AGU).
Experts call a collision with an asteroid one of the greatest dangers that can threaten humanity and all life on Earth. The probability of this in the foreseeable future, and not so great, but too frightening can be the consequences.
Fortunately, about two-thirds of our planet’s surface is covered by water, which can to a certain extent to ease the blow. To such conclusions came in Geophysics Galen Ghisler and his colleagues from the University of Texas at Austin.
Together with partners from the Los Alamos national laboratory scientists have conducted a series of simulations modeling different scenarios of asteroid into the ocean. The results of this work may disappoint fans of disaster movies: the circular waves, radiating from the center the fall single body, quickly lose energy and are even less dangerous than the relatively direct waves generated in conventional underwater earthquakes.
If the strike would have on a deserted area of the ocean, these waves are virtually harmless. If the asteroid would disintegrate in the atmosphere, as happens quite often, then the energy of the fall would be dispersed over a large area and does not create threatening waves.
On this optimistic background stands another threatening aspect of such a collision. The impact of the massive hot body will lead to evaporation of large volumes of water that will be entering the atmosphere of a large “dose”. According to Ghisler and his colleagues, a 250-meter body can evaporate about 250 million tons of water. For comparison, the asteroid that may have finished the age of dinosaurs, could have a diameter of about 10 km.
A portion of this moisture will quickly fall rainfall, but a large proportion can reach the stratosphere, where it is not so fast. Here, water vapor may play a role potent greenhouse gas, affecting the climate of the entire planet.
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